Homeowners should be allowed to use pepper spray, opposition says
Government does not support legalising pepper spray over fears it would be used in public
Pepper spray should be legalised for the use of self-defence at home, argues primary opposition party Venstre.
The party argues that, unlike the blunt objects that homeowners are currently allowed to use to defend themselves from intruders, the illegal spray is known not to result in lasting damage.
“People shouldn’t be allowed to have it on the streets, but I understand Danes who feel unsafe in their own homes and have a canister of the spray beside their bed,” Venstre MP Inger Støjberg told Politiken newspaper.
She added that many Danes already own pepper spray and that it won’t encourage burglars to resort to even more dangerous weapons, such as guns.
Weapons are highly regulated in Denmark in order to discourage an arms race between criminals and members of the public.
The law governing pepper spray is unlikely to change given that the government is opposed to Venstre's suggestion.
“Legalising pepper spray at home would tempt many people to take it onto the street. We need to use political energy to bring down the number of break-ins, not legalise weapons,” Socialdemokraterne's legal spokesperson, Tine Bramsen, told Politiken.
Helpless at home
But if the opposition regains power, the law is likely to change with the support of Dansk Folkeparti, whose values spokesperson Pia Kjærsgaard has been prosecuted for using the spray.
“I totally support it. I think we will end up all being allowed to carry pepper spray in public, but so far so good,” Kjærsgaard told Politiken.
The police union, Politi Forbundet, also supports changing the law to allow homeowners to have the spray available.
“It is worth considering,” the union's chairman, Claus Oxfeldt, told Politiken. “It’s terrifying when someone breaks into your home, in which case it would be perfect. We are helpless in our own homes.”